Tennessee Governor Bill Lee awarded Tennessee Department of Correction Special Agent Joe Frye with the U.S. Marshals Service Purple Heart. On November 2, 2020, Frye was shot multiple times on duty in an attempt to capture fugitive Bobby Joe Claybrook. Once Joe was shot, he was immobile, but now has fully recovered from the incident.

A ceremony was held on Monday in Frye’s honor at the Madison County Courthouse. Several city and law enforcement officials were in attendance, along with Lee.

Frye has been with the Tennessee Department of Correction for over 25 years.

Lee shared a photo from the ceremony standing next to Special Agent Frye on Twitter, writing, “It’s an honor to recognize a true TN hero, Special Agent Joseph Frye, with the U.S. Marshals Service Purple Heart. A year ago, SA Frye stepped into danger & risked his life to protect others in the Jackson community. Tennesseans are grateful for your courage & commitment.”

The Purple Heart is given to those who are injured or killed in a line of duty and is a symbol of bravery and persistence.

Frye was part of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force when he was ambushed while approaching the fugitive’s residence in Jackson.

Bobby Joe Claybrook, Jr., 39, was added to the TBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List on August 7th, 2020, and was being sought by Dyersburg Police, United States Marshal Service, and the TBI for Attempted Second Degree Murder, Felon in Possession of a Handgun and three counts of Aggravated Assault.

He surrendered to the Jackson Police Department’s SWAT Team and was federally charged with discharging a firearm during an assault on a federal officer. Claybrook was also charged in state court with the offenses of one count of Criminal Attempt to Commit First Degree Murder Causing Serious Bodily Injury, four counts of Criminal Attempt to Commit First Degree Murder, five counts of Employing a Firearm in the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, and one count of Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bill Lee” by Bill Lee.